Minor Update: Why AVAHS is Delayed

Hello everyone! I hope your holiday season is treating you well. You may have noticed that AVAHS, which I’ve been proud of to get one post out per day of, has been halted for a few days. The reason for that is Windows, and I think I don’t need to say anything else because fucking Windows, but I’ll elaborate.

I was in the middle of watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas but it was late at night and Windows wanted to update for the umpteenth time. It had been having trouble updating lately (got to around 61% then would shut the computer off) but this time the update was going through. I leave the computer on all night because the installation is taking forever.

The next morning, I check the computer and it seems like all is well until I actually log in to my account where I see all my files are gone. I think the computer must’ve suffered a horrible crash when it updated or something, but for some reason several of my manually installed third-party programs were still there. Nevertheless, I panic, because it’s been months since I’ve done a backup and I had nearly 200 GB worth of stuff gone, including a bunch of of yet-to-be-posted blog posts and reviews. I start to do recovery processes with Recuva, but it’s not finding anything worthwhile, which makes me even more upset (and confused because, unless something went massively wrong, the data should not have been overwritten). I was especially annoyed at the loss of my Firefox profile because that’s basically my main means of organizing my anime/cartoon/etc. watch list (good idea, I know).

I use a different program, UnDelete, which actually shows that my C: drive is at roughly the same storage amount as it was pre-update, which obviously confuses me greatly. I snoop around my C: drive and find that Windows, for some stupid reason and without notifying me, had taken all of the files from my last user profile, moved them and had made a new user profile folder that it was now using for the same and only user account I had on my computer. And it wasn’t like there was a new account at the sign-in screen, either. I still only had one account, but now there were two profiles in the users folder.

So, despite a rage flareup at Windows 10 being a massive shithead, I calm down because at least almost all of my files were still here – even my Firefox profile, which, thankfully, saves in AppData in the user folder.

That doesn’t mean the problems ended, though. Other things were borked after the update. My fonts were screwed up, making everything look like it it was channeling Windows 98 and most of my taskbar wasn’t working. Start menu, search bar, Cortana, my notifications, right click, none of it. Also, certain functions like Settings and stuff would not launch.

Pbbt.

I spend hours trying numerous methods of fixing it, to no avail, so I was forced to reset/restore my computer to factory settings, though thank God Windows 10 isn’t complete garbage and actually offers you the option to save your files from deletion – just the programs and settings are deleted and reset. I backed up my files anyway because I was gonna either way and because who can trust that it won’t delete them?

Everything seems okay now, just have to redownload and configure my programs. AVAHS should be returning either tonight or tomorrow, and I’ll be adding on an extra week to make up for lost time.

TL;DR – Computers are grinches who want to ruin my Christmas blogging. I’m okay now.

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AVAHS – A Muppet Family Christmas

Plot: The muppets spend Christmas at Fozzie’s mother’s house.

Breakdown: It’s December! Which mea–

Elephant: Muppets still aren’t technically animatio–

Still don’t care! It’s time for A Very Animated Holiday Special, where we watch and review as many holiday specials as we can get our hands on over the month of December! And I have a bit of a request for you all. If there’s an animated holiday special or movie you’d like me to review, feel free to ask and I will do my best to gift wrap it for you. I am particularly interested in any winter holiday specials that aren’t Christmas, because I’m kinda hard up for some variety. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc. Throw ‘em at me.

And now to today’s presentation – A Muppet Family Christmas! Made in 1987, this is a very simple special where the muppets all spend Christmas at Fozzie’s mother’s house. She was going to go on a tropical vacation for Christmas, and she was about to rent out her place for the holidays to some guy named Doc who wanted to spend Christmas alone with his dog, Sprocket.

Contrary to what you may think, it’s really not a plot point that these three have their holidays barged in on by the muppets. Doc is a bit perturbed at first, as is Fozzie’s mother, but they quickly just accept it and enjoy a happy holiday together.

Besides that, Miss Piggy is stuck in the city, trying to get to the house through a blizzard, which is something I’m completely uninterested in because I don’t like Miss Piggy.

And we have the ongoing trials and tribulations of the Swedish Chef doing everything in his power to murder a bird for dinner (he even targeted Big Bird. D:)

The other 35 minutes of this 47 minute long movie are mostly made up of the muppets singing practically every Christmas song known to man throughout the movie.

The movie is a bit bogged down by a load of Christmas carols, but it’s still pretty entertaining in its own right. There are several heartwarming and funny moments that put you in the Christmas mood. Even if I am confused as to why Doc seems so weirded out by the muppets at first when Sprocket is a muppet….Also, I’d like a tad more Gonzo and Rizzo, but that’s just my bias.

The entirety of the muppet gang is here for the holidays, not just Kermit and the gang. We also get joined by the Sesame Street crew and even the Fraggles. Including them all truly makes this feel like a big family Christmas gathering. I especially liked a joke where Doc was talking with Bert and Ernie and they kept saying the words he was saying started with specific letters. When he asked them what they were doing, they said that counted as small talk where they were from. I just thought that was a hilarious bit of pseudo-meta humor.

Jim Hensen makes a cameo at the very end if you want to finish off this lighthearted Christmas story with a bittersweet reminder that he is no longer with us. Thanks for giving us a little Christmas magic, Jim.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And for those not in the US, damn you lucky bastards for not having to spend half the day cooking! I mean, I’m thankful for all of you. Ironically, this place and you guys all help keep me sane. ❤

So, remember, be thankful, be kind and eat in moderation to avoid a stomach ache. I’m prepared an example gif of proper Thanksgiving eating habits below.

Notice how Kirby is being mindful to keep his elbows off the table, and he is refraining from talking with his mouth full. His area is also clean and tidy, and he’s not chewing so he can eat faster and get back to having meaningful conversations with his family. Now that’s a true Thanksgivinger!

From all of….me at the Anime Madhouse, have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

November Marathon Poll Results

Hey guys! It’s time to go over last month’s poll results!

November is going to have marathoned blog posts, meaning every two days or so, a new entry will be added to one specific series of mine instead of once every week and half-ish like I have been going. Other series will be updated along the way, but the main focus will be on one specific series.

At the beginning of October, I started a poll asking you guys which series you’d most like to see me focus on, and the results are in.

Poll results

And the winner is Pokemon Episode Analyses!

Thanks for voting, everyone! Here’s to Poke-vember!

 

 

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 5 Episodes 3 and 4

Episode 3: The Crow Children

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Plot: A young girl named Sae is on her way to visit her grandma for the first time with her mother when they meet a creepy old lady dressed in black that the local children call ‘the crow lady’.

Breakdown: I would’ve guessed this was a spin-off to Children of the Corn when first looking at that title.

This episode’s a bit on the predictable side and doesn’t really get at all creepy or scary until the final 30 seconds or so, which is a bit ironic because this is one of those stories that just ends in a moral and not anyone being perpetually tortured, going crazy or dying. That was a welcome twist considering the main character of this story is a cute little girl.

It’s definitely not the scariest or creepiest entry, and they even throw in a jump scare near the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

The art is back to the way it was in episode one, which is nice, but the episode also clearly has much less animation than most other episodes, if that was even possible.

Episode 4: Copycat

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Plot: Haru is a young woman who just finished her college orientation. She’s surprised to find that her old childhood friend, Yukari, has also gotten into the same school as her. Yukari always copied everything that she did. Wore the same clothes, bought the same things, pursued the same dreams. It was flattering and fun throughout childhood, but as you get older, you need to develop your own personal identity. What happens when someone’s personal identity is yours?

Breakdown: This is, I believe, our first story that isn’t inherently supernatural. It is really just a story about a crazy friend who is doing everything in their power to copy someone else. The twist at the very end is what throws you for a loop.

One of the main aspects about this story that sits uncomfortably with people is that I’m certain many people have, at one point, had a friend with similar traits to Yukari. I’ve even been in a somewhat similar situation. It’s very awkward to deal with a friend that you do really like but is either intensely clingy or is trying to do everything you do to be just like you. You know trying to talk to them about it, even kindly, will likely hurt their feelings, but eventually everyone hits their breaking point.

Yukari does reach that boiling point of incredible annoyance, which is quickly offset by her insane creepiness. She is dead set on copying Haru as much as humanly possible.

….And I’ll just leave it at that line.

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 4 Episodes 7 and 8

Episode 7: Footsteps

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Plot: A man on a shopping outing with his wife visits the restroom for a minute when he hears non-stop footsteps outside of the stall.

Breakdown: I can’t really decide if this episode was good or bad. On one hand, the footsteps were unnerving as they increased in intensity, and the final shot was kinda spooky. Plus the narrator for this episode is a fantastic story teller with his voice. On the other hand, this is another Yami Shibai episode that takes place in a toilet….Also, they kinda stretch for the spooky atmosphere here by making the stall very dark when it logically shouldn’t be. A bathroom in a crowded mall being mostly dark? Why?

It also has a confusing ‘story’. I guess the marks on the wall were sigils to ward off whatever was making the footstep noises, but why write them in such easily removable ink? Why is whatever is haunting this bathroom haunting this bathroom?

Middle of the road material, I suppose.

The live-action shots of the episode were just shots of him holding his phone, which has already been done and doesn’t add to the atmosphere or story at all.

Episode 8 – Cassette Tape

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Plot: A young man is returning to his old childhood home for the wedding of one of his childhood friends. As he rustles through the stuff preserved perfectly in his old bedroom, he finds a tape titled ‘What happened today?’, which turns out to be an old audio journal he kept as a child. As he listens with nostalgia, he realizes that something is odd about what he’s saying and how he’s speaking. He soon has no recollection of the odd things he seems to be noting as the tape continues. So….what happened today?

Breakdown: Now we’re getting back into the good ol’ funk of the original Yami Shibai….but ultimately ending a bit flat.

This is just some nice psychological screwing that unnerves you from nearly the instant the tape starts. Also, the shot of the tape playing is the live-action shot for the episode, giving it a tad more creepiness.

The ending, while being ominous, is also very open-ended, which is why it’s somewhat flat. There’s some weird box that he keeps bringing up, but we never see the box or have any indication what’s inside it.

All in all, one of the stronger entries in this season. Just needed a firmer landing.

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 4 Episodes 3 and 4

Episode 3: Sewing Shears

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Plot: A woman moves into a cheap new apartment and finds a talisman with sewing shears stabbed through them underneath the floor boards. She discards them, but everything has a purpose.

Breakdown: This one was completely cliché from start to finish. Find a creepy artifact in an old house and throw it away. Gee I wonder if that won’t piss off some spirit and get her killed.

They even throw in the fakeout dream for good measure. It’s here where the live action shots really start seeming silly. The shot of the talisman and shears were enough, but when she picks them up, it’s on the side of comically juxtaposed besides the regular art and animation, which does seem much less animated than it usually is. Considering this is basically an animated paper puppet show, supposedly animated using Powerpoint, that’s pretty damn bad.

I will say the spirit is a little creepy, but nothing too fantastical in design. Like many times over the course of this whole franchise, I’m really left wondering what the backstory is behind this whole thing.

Episode 4: Red High Heel

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Plot: A businessman has gotten out of work late and nearly ends up having to walk home when he’s able to hail a taxi. He finds a bright red high heel in the back and asks the driver if one of his last customers dropped it. The driver quickly tells him to throw it out the window. The man is confused at the driver’s request until he hears footsteps outside of the door.

Breakdown: This one was a little clever but disappointing. The twist surprised me a bit, but the ending was out of nowhere and the narrator’s laugh at the end was out of place and seemed awkward. What about that was funny? Or so scary you’d laugh at the audience for being scared? You literally tossed a dead body at our faces then laughed.

I think it would’ve been more clever if the driver was the bad guy. Say the woman was his last victim come back to haunt him because he’s really a serial killer. Or have her try to warn the businessman about the driver, then have the big end-of-story twist be the driver killing him or turning out to be a demon or something. What we got was a ‘twist’ that was really just a sad random circumstance that I guess the narrator thinks is funny. *shrug*